Skip to main content

Full text of "Modern painters, French"

See other formats




MARCH 27-APRIL 18, 1932, 




IN SELECTING these paintings for exhibition and sale under the 
auspices of the American Federation of Arts we are carrying out a 
practical part of what has always been our plan and purpose in the mould- 
ing of the Phillips Memorial Gallery. It is a Collection in the Making. 
Changes are inevitable — some the result of deliberate policy, and others 
of unforeseen exigency. When we wish to acquire a picture desired for 
some special unit at a time when funds are not available we are confronted 
by the fact that the semi-private and memorial character of our Institution 
seems to make it unlikely that any friend of the Collection will buy it for 
us. No "good angel" in the form of a fellow citizen has yet come to our 
assistance and made it possible for us to hold on to what we have and at 
the same time to purchase what we need. This blessing may yet be in 
store for us. Some people feel that we deserve it. However, it is certain 
that we cannot expect it. Whenever funds must be raised at once and 
whenever we are under unusual financial strain there is only one thing 
for us to do — and that is to sell, and to choose for sale whatever, for one 
reason or another, does not fit perfectly into the unique character of the 
collection; or else whatever can be spared because of our possession of 
other examples by the same artist which reveal the same phase of his art. 
It is not at all a process of weeding out. It is simply a recognition of the 
fact that in these days of improved taste only good things sell and good 
things therefore must be sacrificed if and when sales are necessary. The 
Duveneck "Music Master" is the acknowledged masterpiece of this 
American painter — one of the greatest portraits of the nineteenth century. 
Why allow such a great work of art to pass into another museum or collec- 
tion? Because some other Museum or Collection would give it a more 
appropriate setting. Because the art is that of an Old Master and worthy 
of comparison with the greatest Old Masters, whereas our pictures are 
distinctly modern in technic. For our specialized purpose of forming a 
Collection of modern art and its sources we happen to be more interested 
in pictures of a past more or less remote which anticipated modernity 
than in modern pictures which are comparable to Rembrandt, Hals, and 
Rubens. In the case of some of the other pictures by artists such as 
Davies, we have so many other canvases by these painters that we can 
afford to part with one or two from each of them. We are compelled to 
relinquish examples which are known to be particularly important and 
appropriate for other museums in order to make immediate sales. That 
is the reason we offer at this time Fuller's "Tending Turkeys," Davies' 

"Rose to Rose," Myers' "Dance Fantasy," and the great Courbet, "The 
Glen at Ornans." As we are the proud possessors of "The Rocks at 
Ornans," a subject very similar and of the same place, painted at the 
same period we can — since we must — part with this noble landscape! 

Duncan Phillips. 

The catalogue notes have been largely excerpted from the writings 
of the lender. All but three are quotations from "A Collection in the 
Making" and "The Artist Sees Differently," both by Duncan Phillips. 

1. DAVIES, ARTHUR B., Wavering Twilight $750 

"In spite of his wide culture and responsiveness to many foreign in- 
fluences, Davies was thoroughly American and absolutely original. He 
captured the charm of American landscape and in his early period his 
poetic pictures of children at play are made doubly delightful by the 
Hudson River or Sierra Nevada backgrounds." 

2. MYERS, JEROME, Dance Fantasy $1,000 

"He went to study art in New York and has remained ever since, 
seeking his subjects on the East Side and other ragged fringes of the city, 
in congested districts where he finds not melodrama or sordid sociological 
data but romance and poetry in the lives of the foreign-born with a par- 
ticular interest in the children of the crowded streets and recreation 
piers. . . . Within recent years a new vision of his familiar world trans- 
figured by his reverie transports us into a fairyland of jewelled ruby and 
emerald lights. He paints the festive nights when there are band concerts 
or carnivals of 'kids' in costume." 

3. DUVENECK, FRANK, The Music Masler $10,000 

"Duveneck made technic, no matter how traditional, tense and excit- 
ing. He made brush work the foundation for the picture's structure and 
taught the painter's point of view, as distinct from the draftsman's. Then 
his brush accomplished miracles of modelling, such miracles as the head 
of our old 'Herr Professor,' constructing his massive skull, realizing the 
exact appearance of the skin covering his bones, catching the lingering 
gleam in the faded, sunken eyes in their shadowed hollows, stressing most 
of all the patient mouth of the stoic, the sufferer. . . . Our 'Music 
Master' dates from the Munich period and comes from a German collec- 
tion. If he had painted nothing else this work alone would entitle him 
to a place in the front rank of American painters." 

4. LE SIDANER, HENRI, Waterfront at Dusk $750 

"Le Sidaner is a frankly sentimental artist. He loves . . . lamp- 
lighting time on the waterfront of a harbor town, with the sails of ghostly 
ships limp in the twilight. . . . The Impressionists had foresworn ro- 
mance. Le Sidaner seems to point back to the beginnings of the use of 
broken color — to Watteau and to Monticelli — and to ask — why not em- 
ploy vibrating color to secure the air of romance which we find in reality 
at fortunate hours in chosen places?" 

5. DECAMPS, A. G., Laboureur de Lot $450 

Asia Minor was the chief source of this artist's inspiration. This 
little painting depicts a Near Eastern peasant ploughing; but despite its 
small compass, it seems to transcend locality and time. In his relation- 
ship to his stolid beasts and to the rich earth, this peasant might belong 
to any country and any time. 

6. MONTICELLI AND M. MARIS, The Barnyard $2,000 

The mellow tones of this painting envelop the old wooden door, the 
fowl, the animals in the stable and the boy descending the steps to the 
right, in a golden glow. 

7. FULLER, GEORGE, Tending Turkeys $3,000 

"A painter of wistful dreams, of ideal heads, of shadowy fanciful 
figures and of subtle effects of light. . . . Always the figures were kept 
back in the dream-haunted depths of his canvases, their thrilling or 
endearing suggestions contained in the muffled tone which was his equiva- 
lent for the elusive loveliness he sought." 

8. BOUDIN, EUGENE, Venice, Evening $1,500 

" He was a pioneer of Impressionism and, together with Jongkind, he 
supplies the link between Constable and Monet." 

9. CHASE, W. M., Outskirts of Madrid $500 

"In his portraits, still life and landscapes he was consistently the 
wise, eclectic and irreproachable technician. His big, broadly handled 
brush stroke, his glistening high lights and dark shadows, created an 
impression of dazzling virtuosity." "Outskirts of Madrid" is remarkable 
as an example of Chase for it reveals restraint both in light and shade and 
in execution. 

io. PISSARRO, CAMILLE, Harvesl $1,200 

"Pissarro joined the hazardous adventure of Monet, Sisley and Renoir 
with a whole-hearted devotion. He created rich tapestries of divided 
tones unified in a persuasive gold-thread of sunlight and a granulated 
texture. Solid in the modelling of the forms, these early Pissarros are 
no less important for their truth to atmospheric values. And they satisfy 
the senses with their decorative harmony of unobtrusive colors." 

11. MENARD, RENfi, Pointe Fauconniere $1,500 

"A serious painter of classic landscapes in 'the grand manner' with 
nude figures frankly borrowed from Greek sculpture. . . . M6nard is a 
contemplative poet. Man, at ease or laboring among his herds and 
flocks, is noted only as a poignant incident. On the lonely shore of a 
mountain lake at sunrise the smoke of a campfire tells of our passing by." 

12. COURBET, GUSTAVE, The Glen at Ornans $6,000 

"Courbet was born at Ornans of a family of vine growers and re- 
mained under the influence of that region's towering rocks and dark 
forests. . . . He is one of the strong and splendid pillars upholding the 
temple of modern painting. 'The Rocks at Ornans,' 'The Glen at 
Ornans,' and 'The Mediterranean,' are paintings of supreme merit in 
significant form, sombre but intense color, and expression of the sublime 
stability in Nature which Courbet's restless soul revered." 

13. DAVIES, ARTHUR B., Rose to Rose $5,000 

"An early trip to Italy confirmed the romanticism of his taste and 
for a while he painted Italianate pictures of glowing color like the 

14. PICKNELL, W. L., Cottage by the Sea $300 

William L. Picknell belongs to the so-called "tonalist" school of 
American landscape. His paintings are infused with personal mood. 
There is a strong Barbizon influence discernible, as well as the influence 
of George Inness, under whom he studied in Rome. 

15. CARLSEN, EMIL, Night, Old Windham Not for sale 

"'Night at Windham' is an example of how beautiful is his art when 
his craft has not overpowered his sentiment for light and for tree forms 
and his memories of enchanting experience." 

Except vohere noted } these pictures are jor sale at the prices stated.